Hi there!

I’m slowly working towards some simplicity within the home, but hey! It’s a lot of hard work!

I love having a go at growing my own veges and always use herbs fresh from my garden. I try to plant from seed whenever I can and have learnt to save and share my own seed for the following year. I make Award Winning preserves and pickles; and my husband brews Award Winning boutique beers as well. I love to stockpile and try to limit quick trips to the shops. I dabble in bread making and enjoy making my own stocks too.

I enjoy feeding my family good hearty meals, nothing like those tiny restaurant stacks you have to look for on the plate. My husband maintains our vehicles and machinery and we both enjoy fabricating on a small scale mostly relying on metal & timber recyclers for any materials needed.

While I don’t always have time to reply to comments, I love reading them. I hope you enjoy your stay and I hope you learn something new because I love sharing what I learn, and I'm always looking for another new skill myself.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

How much will I save today?

Lavender heads & Vinegar after 2 weeks.
This morning I will wash my hair with my own soap that I make....it leaves my hair soft and shiny....I will also rinse with a vinegar of either rosemary or lavender. Those vinegars are so easy to make, just pick your herbs, add them to a jar of no-name vinegar, and leave them to infuse for two weeks. How much more simple could it be...once the vinegar is infused, just strain it and decant into a spray bottle. Remember to always label your spray bottles and the bottles you store any leftovers in. It's a good idea to also put the recipe on the bottle too....this way you don't need to hunt it down again to make up a new batch.

I'll do my dishes by hand.....using my liquid soap, sometimes I just pour boiling water over a cake of unscented soap, sometimes I will use the Liquid Laundry Detergent that Rhonda makes at Down to Earth....When I wash dishes with my liquid soap, I have a bowl of water in the second sink, with a dash of vinegar in it...this is a natural soap residue neutraliser. So you never need to worry about any soap being left on your lovely clean dishes. (Not that it's bad for you, because it's not.)

You can also check out the recipe in an article about Rhonda's simple life in the October issue of The Australian Women's Weekly. I'm mentioned in there too, along with Christine from slowlivingessentials . Thanks Rhonda for the lovely recommendation!


I think there is the rind of at least 1 dozen oranges in this bottle.
I dilute the citrus solution to 50%,
but now I dilute it with Plain White Vinegar.
Another cleaner I use is my Citrus Cleaner (which is also mentioned in Rhonda's article)...Today I will wipe down the benches in the kitchen after doing the dishes, then move on to the laundry and give the washing machine a quick wipe over....followed by the bathroom. Yes! this one Citrus Cleaner can do all those tasks, and if there is any extra grimy marks that need to be shifted...I will just sprinkle a little Bi-Carb Soda on the cloth and use it as an abrasive. Bi-Carb is amazing for breaking down fat too. If you have baked a roast for dinner....simply sprinkle some Bi-Carb in the Roasting Pan, pour enough home-brand vinegar over it to cover the entire base of the pan...and leave it to sizzle and lift the baked on bits. It makes scrubbing pots and pans soooo much easier.

Bi-Carb in a shaker & Liquid Soap
I've also learnt to knit; enough to make my own dishcloths...so now I don't buy dishcloths either. Along with my knitted cloths...I also tear up old towels or buy cloth nappies at an op-shop to cut into cleaning rags. It's amazing what can be used as a cleaning cloth from an op-shop. Flannelette sheets or pillowcases are great for cleaning cloths too..and they are usually only about .50 cents for a pillowcase or $1-$2 for a whole flannelette sheet. Imagine how many cleaning rags you could get from an entire sheet! And once they can no longer be used...because they are cotton, they then go into my compost bin to be broken down into soil.

I'll set up my home-made Dak Pots with simple kitchen ingredients to attract the fruit fly away from my fruit trees and tomato plants...On the Dak Pot link you will see I am learning so much from a monthly gardening course I am enjoying...and it's all local knowledge too...Learning as the months come by is the best! While I'm out in the garden I will tie back the plants that are going to seed...I have Bok Choy, Rocket, Water Cress and Purple Radish going to seed at the moment and they need to be contained. I love harvesting seed for the following year from my own garden....Seeds are becoming far more expensive and I try to save whenever I can. 
I have currants on my Black Currant and noticed a hungry little bird hovering around my Vines yesterday, so I will make a wire cage today to keep him out. I'm certainly not buying those cages from Bunnings or a garden centre...They cost far too much for what they are. While I'm at it and have all the tools out, I'll make some cages for the tomatoes too.

Last night it was my DS's 20th birthday....I made everything from scratch. We had plenty of Chicken Schnitzel which I filleted and crumbed. I love the Flour, Egg & Breadcrumb method. I also made a lovely pasta salad with lots of chopped up veg and herbs from the garden....along with a Potato Salad flavoured with home-made dressing and freshly chopped herbs. 
As we have plenty of everything left over....tonight's meal will be very similar, only I will upgrade the Chicken Schnitzel to Chicken Parmigiana. Oh and the yummy desert of Milo Biscuits which I will be posting tomorrow on the blog....

Lunch will be a delicious Chicken & Veg Soup I made from simmering Chicken Carcasses on the stove for a few hours with lots of herbs from the garden. I usually make enough for a few days.....this will be the third day we have the soup for lunch...and the rest I will put in the freezer in small batches.....I make a really lovely Stock too by doing this.

I'll also do some washing...using my home-made washing powder....I whiz this in my whizzer when I make it...and it comes out as a nice fine powder which dissolves in cold water. I would never dream of washing clothes in hot water.. .....I don't buy fabric softener either......I just use Plain Home-Brand White Vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser in my washing machine.....It is brilliant for neutralising any soap residue left behind...and Store bought fabric softener only adds to the residue left in your clothes...No wonder people have all these allergies. 
If I get time...I may check out my flower press too...and start making bookmarks for Christmas Presents...or I may even juice some lemons or oranges I received from FreeCycle.


I have no idea how much money or time I save each day.....Each day is different, but very rewarding. I've never tried to work out how much money I save. 
I bet it's a stunning amount on cleaning products alone......
How much do you think I am saving? What will you be saving money on by doing today?
I'm off now to read the article in the Women's Weekly magazine on Rhonda, myself and Christine.


  1. GOOD TIP on labelling your bottles of homemade spray. I sprayed my daughter's hair the other day to detangle and discourage lice. It was supposed to be the spray with essential oils in it! Instead she smelled of vinegar for the whole day!!!

  2. I love it. I have written a couple of similar articles. I think frugality is a mindset. I love it. Thanks for the post!!!

  3. The interesting thing to me is that your frugality actually gives you a life of abundance, rather than restriction. Who could put a price on that!

  4. Absolutely brilliant post! I LOVE that you embrace a simple, frugal lifestyle as one of riches - it most certainly is!!!!

    Today I saved a bundle because I have been processing a huge lot of apples that I received on Freecycle over the weekend. Not a penny spent (other than natural gas to run the pressure cooker for 15 minutes) because I'm using free jars donated to me (also through Freecycle)!

  5. Thanks everyone....living with a frugal mindset is certainly not about being cheap....It's about spending or not spending your money wisely....It's about looking at the big picture and thinking of other people too. I certainly have an abundant life, meeting lots of wonderful people, as well as eating great food...and a sense of calm; knowing I always have a safety net on hand, whether it be in savings or stockpiles.

  6. I think it was your original post on the citrus cleaner that led me to your blog...no turning back now! Thanks so much for posting so many useful and interesting things. I'm always happy to see your name pop up on my reader list for new entries. :)

  7. i agree with quinn's comment! each time i visit your blog there is something new and interesting to read! nellymary do you have many edible flowers in your garden? i am hoping to use some empty pots i have for edible flowers and would love your thoughts :)

  8. Congratulations on your citrus cleanser being given a big thumbs up in WW. After I made mine a while ago I raved about it to my family; my sister in law made some herself and now I can assure you your cleaner is now a big hit with ex-pats living in Dubai!


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